INICIATIVAS INTEGRADAS DE INSPECCIÓN Y GESTIÓN, S.L. (3i+g), with CIF: B82812942 and registered office at Calle de la Pimienta Nº 67 28760 Tres Cantos, is a Spanish company formed by highly experienced professionals, which carries out inspection and certification activities of products and processes for the Quality Labels QUALANOD, QUALICOAT, QUALIDECO and QUALISTEELCOAT, acting as the Secretariat of the Spanish Association of Aluminium and Surface Treatments (AEA), General Licensee of these Labels in Spain.
3i+g is currently undergoing accreditation by ENAC, in accordance with the requirements of the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17020 and UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17065 standards.
LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY AND FINANCING
3i+g has voluntary reserves on its balance sheet to cover any legal liabilities arising from its operations and has other income from its consultancy and integrated management activities for employers' organisations, which provide it with the financial stability and resources it needs to carry out its activity.
Information on the fees charged to applicants and clients for inspection/certification services is available upon request to the AEA Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RIGHTS AND DUTIES
The AEA Secretariat has a model Agreement for the provision of inspection/certification services, to provide such activities to its clients, which sets out the rights and duties of applicants and clients, including requirements, restrictions or limitations on the use of the Quality Labels and how to refer to the certification granted. This model can be requested through the e-mail address email@example.com for any interested party who requires it beforehand.
3i+g operates on the basis of three main normative documents, which cover its inspection and certification activities, and include the inspection/assessment methods and procedures and the requirements against which customers' products and processes are assessed:
- QUALANOD Quality Label Specifications for Aluminium Anodising in Sulphuric Environment
- Specifications concerning the QUALICOAT Quality Label for powder coating (liquid or powder) of aluminium for architectural applications. Within QUALICOAT there is a specific label for decorative finishes called QUALIDECO, which has its own specifications, as well as a special qualification for QUALICOAT coatings in marine environments called SEASIDE.
- Specifications concerning the QUALISTEELCOAT Quality Label for the coating of raw steel with organic or zinc coated coatings with liquid or powder paints.
The above certification schemes also include rules and procedures for granting, maintaining, extending or reducing the scope of certification, or for suspending, withdrawing or refusing certification.
Procedure for applying for and granting quality labels ** in implantation
The trigger for the certification process is the Certification Application, a form sent together with this general information document, which must be filled in by the interested company with all the necessary information for each Quality Label, in order to carry out the certification process according to the relevant certification scheme or to extend the scope of certification.
This information gathering must be done prior to completing and signing the Inspection/Certification Service Agreement, which sets out the responsibilities of both parties.
REVIEW OF THE CERTIFICATION APPLICATION
Once the client has completed and submitted the Certification Application to 3i+g, the AEA Label Commission will conduct a formal review of the information obtained.
The necessary arrangements for the evaluation activities of the certification process are managed by 3i+g through an Inspection and Testing Plan.
The Inspection and Testing Plan establishes the bodies and entities assigned to carry out each evaluation task, the types of inspections and tests to be carried out for each Quality Label and the dates foreseen for this purpose
Products are evaluated against the requirements covered by the scope of certification and other requirements specified in the certification scheme. The results of all evaluation activities performed must be documented prior to review, in Licensing Inspection and Testing Reports.
If one or more non-conformities have been detected, the client must be informed about them and provided with information regarding further evaluation work necessary to verify that the non-conformities have been corrected, should he/she be interested in continuing the certification process. If the client agrees to complete the additional evaluation work, the process specified in this section shall be repeated to complete the additional evaluation tasks.
As a general rule, the 3i+g Director General and Technical Manager, in the framework of the Standing Committee of the AEA Labels Commission, will be responsible for reviewing all information and results related to the evaluation, but may assign this task to one or more persons, provided that they have not been involved in the evaluation process.
Recommendations for a certification decision based on the review shall be included in the Inspection Report itself, identifying the responsible person.
The 3i+g General Manager is responsible for making the certification decision in the first instance, based on all information related to the assessment, its review and other relevant information.
However, this decision must be endorsed by the Labels Commission of the Spanish Association of Aluminium and Surface Treatments (AEA), General Licensee in Spain of the Quality Labels, and ultimately validated by the QUALANOD, QUALICOAT or QUIALISTEELCOAT INTERNATIONAL Organisations, in charge of granting their respective Quality Labels and issuing the corresponding certificates.
When the decision is not to grant certification, 3i+g will notify the customer in writing on behalf of the AEA, identifying the reasons for such a decision. If the client expresses interest in continuing with the certification, the process for evaluation shall be resumed.
Once the Quality Label has been awarded and the Certificate of Licence has been issued by QUALANOD, QUALICOAT or QUALISTEELCOAT INTERNATIONAL, 3i+g will provide the client with formal certification documentation, on behalf of the AEA, clearly indicating the name and address of the certification body, the date certification is granted, the name and address of the client, the scope of certification and the term or expiry date of the certification.
The formal documentation of the certification shall also include the signature of the persons assigned with such responsibility.
DIRECTORY OF CERTIFIED PRODUCTS
Following the award of a Quality Label to a client, 3i+g together with the Inspection Bodies and Testing Laboratories will initiate surveillance of the products and processes covered by the certification decision, in accordance with the criteria and methodology defined in each certification scheme. They shall also periodically monitor the use of Quality Labels on products, packaging, or accompanying information, to ensure the continued validity of the demonstration of compliance with product requirements.
CHANGES AFFECTING CERTIFICATION
As a general rule, at the beginning of each year the QUALANOD, QUALICOAT and QUALISTEELCOAT INTERNATIONAL Organisations publish a revised edition of their respective Guidelines and Specifications. These Guidelines and Specifications may be supplemented or modified by update sheets which reflect and incorporate decisions and changes, pending a new edition. These numbered sheets will contain the subject, date and description of the resolution and will include the date of application.
The official English version of the Guidelines and Specifications, and their corresponding update sheets, are published on the website of each Organisation (www.qualanod.net, www.qualicoat.net and www.qualisteelcoat.net) and are communicated to the General Licensees in each country.
The Spanish version of the Guidelines and Specifications, and of the update sheets, are published on the AEA website (www.asoc-aluminio.es) and communicated to all customers licensed to use any of the Quality Marks.
When new or revised requirements are introduced in the schemes affecting the client, the AEA Secretariat communicates these changes to all Spanish companies licensed to use the Quality Labels and is responsible for verifying the implementation of the changes by the certified companies and for taking the actions required by each scheme. When necessary to ensure the implementation of these requirements, the AEA may modify the contractual provisions.
When other changes occur that affect certification, such as changes initiated by certified companies after certification has been established, the AEA Labels Commission takes these into consideration and decides on appropriate action.
Procedure for handling complaints and appeals
RECEIPT AND REGISTRATION
Whenever a client wishes to make a complaint or appeal related to a document or an inspection/certification service provided by 3i+g, he/she must complete the Complaints and Appeals Form available at Document_Complaints_and_Appeals_form_(DP-FQA_Ed.1.00).doc and send it to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. This form sets out all the necessary information: date of issue; identification and contact details of the notifying person; name of the entity, company or organisation on whose behalf or legal representation he/she is acting; code or reference of the report, certificate, contract or service related to the complaint or appeal; description of the facts, reasons, arguments and considerations motivating the complaint or appeal; actions requested; and description of the annexes provided.
Immediately after receiving a complaint or an appeal, the personnel of the Certification Management Area in charge of the complaints and appeals mailbox, shall take care of:
- Register all the information received in the incident management application, where it will be identified by an automatically assigned number.
- Forward all information received to the Operations and Quality Manager to confirm whether the complaint or appeal is related to the inspection/certification activities for which he/she is responsible.
- Send acknowledgement of receipt to the client, via e-mail, confirming receipt and registration of the complaint or appeal, as well as the start of the resolution process.
From this moment on, all information provided by the client, and in particular personal data, will be treated by 3i+g in such a way as to guarantee its confidentiality.
The Operations and Quality Manager, supported by internal 3i+g staff and the AEA Labels Commission, will be responsible for confirming whether the complaint or appeal is related to the inspection/certification activities for which he/she is responsible and, if so, for gathering and verifying all the information necessary to validate the complaint or appeal.
Where the complaint or appeal is deemed inadmissible, the client should be informed of the decision and the reasons for it, as well as the possible channels and instances of recourse, if any.
INVESTIGATION AND DECISION ON ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN
Once a complaint or appeal has been validated, the Operations and Quality Director will launch an investigation together with the heads of the areas involved, in order to resolve it and decide on the type of actions to be taken.
The decision resolving the complaint or appeal, and subsequently communicated to the complainant, must be made, reviewed and approved by persons who were not involved in the inspection or certification activities giving rise to the complaint or appeal. Investigations and decisions regarding appeals should not result in any discriminatory action.
The requirements for determining and implementing the necessary corrective and preventive actions, as well as for recording their results and reviewing their effectiveness, are defined in the Management of Corrective and Preventive Actions procedure.
To ensure that no conflict of interest exists, 3i+g will never use personnel who have provided consultancy to a client, or have been employed by a client, to review or approve the resolution of a complaint or appeal related to that client for two years following the termination of consultancy or employment.
The overall authority and responsibility for formal response to all complaints and appeals rests with the Director of Operations and Quality, regardless of the individuals and committees involved in the handling and resolution of such complaints and appeals.
The Certification Management Area shall provide the person lodging the complaint or appeal with the progress reports and the outcome of the handling of the complaint or appeal, signed by the Operations and Quality Director.
FOLLOW-UP AND RECORDING OF ACTIONS TAKEN TO RESOLVE THEM
All relevant information related to the complaint or appeal (corrective actions taken or planned, areas involved, resources required, date of resolution, etc.) should be transferred to the Operations and Quality Director and recorded in the management application for proper follow-up and to ensure that appropriate actions are taken.
The completion of the complaint or appeal handling process will be formally communicated to the complainant, together with the outcome of the grievance process.